Thirty-one Upper School instrumental ensemble students focused on their musicianship during a full-day retreat on March 4. Held throughout the MFS campus, students participated in seminar discussions, extended rehearsals with MFS faculty, and worked one-on-one with master instructors from the local community by instrument family.

“The goals of the retreat are to explore aspects of music and individual mastery of instrument technique not possible during the limited rehearsal hours of the regular schedule,” said Arts Department Chair Brian Howard. “Students also have the opportunity to work with extraordinary instrumental pedagogues in small settings.”

The performance ensembles involved were the Upper School String Ensemble, the Upper School Symphonic/Jazz Ensemble, and the Upper School Advanced Jazz Ensemble.

The strings worked with Julie Bougher, a performer with the Delaware Symphony, Allentown Symphony, Riverside Symphonia, and Elysium Quartet. Brass players studied with John Linder, a Senior Lecturer at The University of the Arts and adjunct professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Montclair State University, and The College of New Jersey. Reeds played with Bob Apgar, owner of Serenade Musical Services and leader of The Next Generation Swing Band. The flutes enjoyed lessons with Elaine Petrosino, a faculty member at Rowan University. Percussionists drummed with Dennis Walter, a master teacher at The Voice Studios in Maple Shade.